Training Ground Antics - When Training Takes an Unexpected Turn

The hallowed turf of the training ground. Where players hone their skills, coaches plan their tactics, and weird stuff happens on a seemingly regular basis. With tedious drills and endless five-a-side games, the training ground is ripe for the antics of bored footballers. From the odd to the funny to the downright dangerous, here are some of the strangest training ground antics we’ve come across in recent years.

That time the St Mirren captain speared his teammate

After being robbed of the ball by teammate and Scotland Under-21 player John McGinn, St Mirren captain Steven Thompson decided it would be ‘a laugh’ to throw a spiked pole at him. Quite what he was thinking is anyone’s guess, but he obviously hadn’t expected to hit the player but hit him he did. The ‘spear’ pierced McGinn’s leg resulting in an injury layoff of three weeks and a later claim against the club for compensation.

Not sure what his manager did about punishment as it remained in-house but on Football Manager Thompson gets sold pronto.

Messi vs. the robot keeper

Testing your skills against a robot may not be the best of ideas (just ask the Leicester players that took on this incredible football robot), but for some reason, La Pulga thought it would be great fun to face off against a robot goalkeeper and put his reputation on the line not once but twice.

You know what, we’re not even going to try to fool you. The diminutive Argentinian made light work of the robots on both occasions with his incredible skills.

Joey Barton gets himself in trouble

Ordinarily, when a man (that is not named Mario Balotelli) makes an error in judgement, he learns from it and tries not to repeat the mistake. It seems though that Joey Barton is no ordinary man.

Not content with landing himself in trouble at Man City for assaulting teammate Ousmane Dabo on the training ground he only went and got himself banned from the training at Rangers. Man City quickly distanced themselves from the player sending him off on loan to Marseille where he perfected his French accent. And after this season’s incident at Rangers, they also gave him the proverbial boot.

Two training ground bust-ups and subsequent departures from the clubs involved have done little to tame the beast that is Joey as we can see from his rather farcical stamp and following dive in Burnley’s defeat to non-league Lincoln City.

Mario Balotelli at any training ground

Balotelli’s training ground antics are the stuff of legend so let’s just take a look at the highlights rather than one particular incident.

He fought with then Man City manager Roberto Mancini with eyewitnesses saying that they had to be pulled apart.

He threw darts at youth players from a training ground window. A rather foolish prank that earned him a £100,000 fine but hey, he’s rich.

His arch-nemesis is the training bib which he struggled to get into on two separate occasions.

He got into a fight with teammate Jerome Boateng.

The list of training ground shenanigans is literally endless and to the undisputed king of tomfoolery Mr. Balotelli, we implore you to never change. Football needs a wildcard that breaks the monotony of transfer gossip with training ground hoo-has and you sir, are the wildest of the lot.



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FM Blog - Football Manager Wonderkids & Tactics: Training Ground Antics - When Training Takes an Unexpected Turn
Training Ground Antics - When Training Takes an Unexpected Turn
The hallowed turf of the training ground. Where players hone their skills, coaches plan their tactics, and weird stuff happens on a seemingly regular basis.
FM Blog - Football Manager Wonderkids & Tactics
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